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Sweden’s NATO Accession Approved by Hungary, Strengthening Alliance

Hungary approves Sweden's NATO bid, finalizing Stockholm's accession and marking a significant geopolitical shift against Russia amidst heightened tensions.

Sweden’s path to NATO membership reached a decisive conclusion as Hungary’s parliament approved its accession, marking the final step in Stockholm’s nearly two-year journey to join the Alliance. This approval signifies a major geopolitical shift and serves as a rebuff to Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose actions partly catalyzed Sweden’s bid for membership.

The approval came after Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson visited Budapest, culminating in a defense agreement with Hungary acquiring Swedish-made Gripen fighter jets.

This historic move by Sweden, once known for its Cold War-era policy of non-alignment, reflects a dramatic shift in response to Russia’s aggressive stance in Ukraine. By joining NATO, Sweden aligns itself with a collective defense mechanism that promises mutual protection among member states, extending the Alliance’s frontier along Russia’s border.

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The accession talks were not without their hurdles, as Turkey and Hungary initially withheld their approval, citing various concerns ranging from alleged leniency towards terrorist organizations to accusations of spreading misinformation. However, these objections were eventually resolved, paving the way for Sweden’s formal membership after it submitted its instrument of accession to the United States, the treaty’s depository.

Sweden’s inclusion in NATO, which will bring the alliance’s membership to 32 countries, is seen as a significant enhancement of the collective’s strength and security. The decision comes at a time of heightened tensions in Ukraine and shifting geopolitical dynamics, including increasing populism in Europe and the US, which have raised questions about ongoing support for Ukraine.

This expansion of NATO, especially with the inclusion of both Sweden and Finland, represents a critical juncture in European security, potentially altering the balance of power in the region and reinforcing the Alliance’s commitment to deterrence and defense amidst growing global challenges.



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